income

More economists are telling us that income and wealth inequality is growing in the U.S.

The Economist declared that inequality in wealth in America is approaching record levels. They argue that the gap between the haves and the have-nots is getting wider as the rich get richer.

Michigan State University economics professor Charlie Ballard joined us today to talk about this wealth disparity in the U.S.

You can listen to our conversation below.


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Over the past few years, renting a home has become more popular than owning one. However, according to a recent Harvard study, rent is quickly becoming unaffordable for most Americans.

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For many of us, the word “budget” is not on our favorite words list.

But as so many of us across Michigan discovered during the Great Recession, things can get mighty scary when there's a crunch and we don't have much in the piggy bank.

Detroit News Personal Finance Editor Brian O'Connor writes the "Funny Money" column, offering financial advice to his readers. During the Great Recession, Brian and his family felt the pinch. So he decided to find out if his family could cut its monthly expenses by $1,000. He has turned his experiment  into a new book  “The One-Thousand Dollar Challenge: How One Family Slashed Its Budget Without Moving Under a Bridge or Living on Government Cheese."

Listen to the full interview above. 

The Washington Post

This map shows you how wealthy your ZIP code is.

The Washington Post created it using data from the 2010 Census. Only zip codes that have at least 500 adults were included in the map (so some ZIP codes in the U.P. were not counted).

The ZIP codes are ranked from 0-99.

The higher the number, the higher the average household income and the higher the percentage of adults who have college degrees.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

New U.S. Census data shows Michigan’s median income and poverty rates holding steady.

The Census Bureau released the results of its latest American Community Survey today.

The results show Michigan’s poverty rate in 2012 stood at 17.4%, unchanged from 2011.

Ed Welniak leads the Income Statistics Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau.  He says Michigan’s numbers reflect a broader national trend.

Stateside: Addressing Michigan's income disparity

Dec 12, 2012
Charley Ballard, Michigan State University economist, spoke with Cyndy about the health of Michigan's economy.
Michigan State University

The gap between the Middle and Upper class in Michigan has widened.

Michigan State University’s Charley Ballard spoke with Cyndy about income disparity in both the state and country.

“There is a lot of emphasis about the level of income, but I am talking about the gap between those at the top, the middle and bottom in terms of how much their household income is. A big story is that the gap has widened. Michigan is typical in that the gap between the gap and top and the middle has gone way up, but the gap between the middle and the bottom has not,” said Ballard.

The disparities in income are largely a result of varying degrees of education among Michigan workers.

“Those at the top tend to be college-educated. Those at the bottom tend to not be,” said Ballard.

According to Ballard, Michigan’s statistics are average when compared nationally.

“In a lot of ways we’re a middle-of-the-pack state. If you take that ratio of the household income for the person at the 90th percentile, upper-middle class, and compare that with the household income with someone at the tenth percentile, that ratio increased by more than 20% in Michigan.”

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A new report from the United States Commerce Department found that economic recovery is occurring in Michigan. According to the survey, per capita personal income rose in nearly every Michigan county last year.

Charley Ballard, Michigan State University Professor of Economics explained that although improving, Michigan’s economy still has further to go.  

Ballard began by defining the factors of per capita income.

“It’s their wages and salaries. It also included dividends and social security. It doesn’t include Medicare. They add up all of the income of all the people in Michigan and then divide by the number of people,” said Ballard.

Though improved, Michigan is still well below the national average of per capita income.

Gender-based income inequality by county.
screenshot / Slate/New America Foundation

Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment from the second presidential debate became an instant Internet meme, but it also brought attention to the issue of income inequality based on gender.

It’s an issue with particular relevance for Michigan.

The state ranks fourth in the country for the largest pay gap between men and women.

Household incomes are down while the number of people living in poverty is up. That’s according to new data from the US Census Bureau. Michigan’s numbers mirror national trends.

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Detroit has the third highest average annual income out of the 51 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

Shocked? Let me explain.

Forbes Magazine and the Praxis Strategy Group re-ranked the incomes in these 51 cities after adjusting for cost of living. Not surprisingly, it turns out a dollar goes a lot farther in Detroit than in, say, New York City or Boston.

Cover of the report Executive Excess 2010: CEO Pay and the Great Recession
IPS

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies looked at CEO compensation from the 50 companies that layed off more workers during the recession. They found the CEOs at these companies are paid more, on average, than the average pay for the CEOs running to top 500 companies in the U.S. (S&P 500).

Sarah Anderson is the lead author of the report.  She says,

"CEOs are squeezing workers to boost short-term profits and fatten their own paychecks."